With more than 61,000 veterinarians currently in practice in the United States, the industry is predicted to increase by 36 percent in less than a decade. As major insurance carriers are expanding their offerings to this market, Mensh Insurance is bringing these products to the marketplace.
An injury to the arm, leg or back may leave a veterinarian without an income or way to pay the practice’s bills. “Veterinarians are typically small business owners earning an average of $91,000 per year,” said Danny Mensh, president of Mensh Insurance in Winston-Salem, N.C. “Protecting those with income in the $75,000 to $150,000 range is critical. We are offering plans that will fill this niche for this occupation. There are special discounts to help veterinarians secure individual disability insurance, business overhead expense and retirement plan protection products much more efficiently and with less expense.”
Many veterinarians may think their small-scale practice can’t take advantage of big group discounts on insurance. This is a misnomer, according to Mensh. “With veterinarian practices that have three or more employees who participate in individual offerings, we are able to bring them discount programs to really help save money with superior products. Additionally, individual disability insurance is typically priced differently for males and females, with female rates 30 to 40 percent higher, unlike the life insurance market. Under these new multi-life programs, we can bring the lower male rates with discounts to female clients, which only adds to cost savings.”
There are benefits to exploring options other than those offered through the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Mensh said. “Individual policies with one of the major carriers offer such advantages as being non-cancelable with guaranteed renewable until age 70, future benefit increases, a ‘your occupation’ definition of disability and full portability,” he explained. “Veterinarians have access to more comprehensive policy protection and products through independent consultants and agencies to also include significant discounts.
While most small business owners are familiar with traditional disability insurance that replaces lost income, veterinary practices can also purchase and deduct the cost of a policy that will pay ongoing lease or expenses to help defray the effect of lost income due to disability. In addition, there are individual disability policies that will match retirement plan contributions prior to disability so retirement contributions for continued asset growth can continue. Lastly, sole practitioners face challenges if they become disabled when trying to sell a practice. Special proprietary products are now available to provide lump sum payments up to three times the annual net revenue for buy-out scenarios.
“By taking some time to evaluate plans,” Mensh said, “veterinarians can be fully prepared for all income losses — both personally and to the practice.”